Sunday, September 11, 2011

Not Your Average Paper Towel – Review and Giveaway

I sent Mike grocery shopping today and stayed home to clean the house. He was amazed when he got there (he texted me, “Is it a holiday? Why are all these people here?”). One of the things I had on our list was a roll of paper towels. Mike brought home an 8-pack of paper towels, and I laughed. “Well I guess that’ll last us for the next five months.” “Not the way you go through paper towels,” he replied. I raised an eyebrow and pointed to the paper towel roll currently on the spindle. “THAT has been there for the past week.” And it was only ¼ of the way gone.

I used to be a paper towel waster. Super bad. Like a full sheet just to wipe up a little water. I got better by ripping off a small amount to blow my nose on or something like that, but I still didn’t like the fact that I was using paper. Enter Cassie Louis and her fabulous Unpaper Towels. Cassie (of Crafted By Cassie) makes her towels out of birdseye cotton serged around the edges. She makes some with snaps (so you can make a “roll” of them just like paper towels) or without.

Cassie sent me 10 unpaper towels with rainbow serging (stitching around the edge) with snaps.

I snapped them up and rolled them around the regular roll of paper towels. Mike took one and put it in his pocket and it became his “hanky” for the week (I made him wash that one). I brought one in my purse for lunch finger wiping rather than grabbing a napkin, and I used them at dinner rather than paper towels (I always have a napkin or paper towel to wipe my fingers and face). I used them in the kitchen for wiping up spills and sometimes a little boy’s fingers. When we were done with them they went in the “kitchen wash bag” (along with our United By Fluff wipes for kiddo cleanup and our hand towels) and easily washed along with all that stuff.

So using cloth towels has decreased our paper towels usage by a huge percentage. It was amazing to watch the paper towel rolls not disappear. I really can’t remember the last time I recycled a paper towel roll. We’ve stopped snapping them together and rolling them up because it got kind of frustrating if you needed one quickly, but I think the idea is good in general. But obviously if you have snaps on your towels you don’t need to use them. Our cloth towels go in a pile on top of the paper towel holder.

Wait, did I say “if YOU have snaps on YOUR towels…?” I did. You know why? Because I want you to have 10 of Crafted By Cassie’s unpaper towels. If you enter this month’s contest, you could win 10 of the towels just like the ones pictured here. They are sewn and ready to come live with you!

To enter, “like” both the Mama Around the House Facebook page and the Crafted by Cassie Facebook page. On Cassie’s FB pictures, choose which project that she has done that you think is the coolest, and fill out the entry form. Good luck and thanks for reading!
Friday, September 9, 2011

I rarely do this...

I try to stay positive and promote positivity in others in everything I do. I see so much negativity around me, hear so much of it, that I just feel the need to combat it by throwing as much positive energy out there as I can. Some days that feels like a bigger burden than I’m able to deal with.

This past week has been rough. Ok, to be honest, I think the past year is just now catching up to me. Hell, maybe the past three years. But yesterday I finally got to my quiet point – it’s the point where you don’t open your mouth for fear of crying or cussing out your child or loved ones. Freud would talk about this in terms of a neurotic anxiety – worrying what the outcome of our possible behaviors could be even though it might be completely out of the ordinary for you.

Mike and I were sitting on the porch last night lamenting that Wilfred is in reruns now until next season. He asked if I thought I could write a show that was as funny as Wilfred and I wanted to respond, “Right, like in my sleep? Because that’s the only time I’d have to do that.” I shrugged and responded, “Probably not, I’m not that funny. But I was thinking about writing a new book.” Many of the people I know (many of whom are therapists) would ask a clarification question (“About what?”) but my husband isn’t like that; he just moves on to the next topic. When I realized he wasn’t going to ask me what I wanted to write about, I turned to go inside. “Babe,” he began pensively, “do you have any ‘me time?’ Like time when you do stuff for yourself?” “What’s that?” I asked, quasi-jokingly. He thought some more and asked, “Well what if I could give you an hour a day to relax? Do you think that would help? What would you do with that hour? You can’t Facebook or grade or write your dissertation, none of the have to stuff. What would you do?” And I seriously couldn’t answer him except to laugh and say, “Nap?”

But here’s the thing – my husband works and goes to school. He’s out of the house just as long as I am every day, and has homework on top of that. So his offer to me wasn’t even physically possible. But he does spend a lot of his time at home watching TV and playing video games while I spend my time cleaning and chasing a little boy. Doing laundry while he watches TV makes me so angry. But when I tell him why I’m angry he tells me that I’m requiring him to go by my expectations (the laundry or dishes need to be done on my schedule) and that’s not fair to him. My response would be, “If we went by your schedule the dishes would get done once per month,” but I refrain. Not talking back to your spouse takes a lot of mental energy, and is just one of the things that sucks my mental and physical energy during the day. If he just did a share of the day-to-day stuff then I wouldn’t need an hour – we’d both have time left over after the chores for the day are through.

So like I said, I rarely do this. I rarely complain about my stuff or what other people aren’t doing. But when my husband says, “We should start going to the gym,” I would love to respond, “We’d have time to do that if you and I worked as a team rather than me working as a manager and you acting like a non-fireable employee.”